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HONITON: MP?revives hopes of road dualling
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Honiton’s MP Neil Parish has given the clearest indication for many years that the dualling of the A303/A30 will go ahead at long last.
At a meeting of Honiton Chamber of Commerce on Friday morning, Mr Parish confirmed that government money had been set aside for improvements to the 92-mile road and that there was every reason to be optimistic about work getting under way.
He told the breakfast meeting: “There is money there for it.
“I would not say there is a really good chance of this happening if I did not feel that there was. In reality it will take four of five years, but it will happen.”
Calls for the frequently congested road to be upgraded go back more than 20 years and progress has been stalled by funding constraints and protests by environmental groups.
But hopes for improvements to the A303/A30, dubbed the Holiday Highway, were revived following Mr Parish’s election victory in 2010 and it now looks likely that the road will be dualled sooner rather than later.
The MP told the meeting, held at Honiton Community College: “There is light at the end of the tunnel.
“It is going to be a little bit controversial, but that road needs to be dual. It is particularly important where the villages, like Upottery, connect to the road.
“There are eight or nine sections of the road that we need to work on – the big one is at Stonehenge. I intend on sticking around (as MP) and I am hopeful that we will see that road done while I am here. I do think now, for once, it is not about talk.”
Mr Parish’s prediction will have been particularly well-received by local traders who believe the town’s economy would benefit enormously from the dualling of the main route into Honiton from London and the South East.
Mr Parish praised the resilience of the town’s traders.
He told them: “Businesses in Honiton have defied the laws of economic gravity all the way through the recession.
“High Street is a very traditional high street and people come from all over to shop there.
“There are always ways that government can help but in the end it is up to individuals to create wealth.
“I am still one of those believers that businesses prosper in spite of government, not because of it.
“It will be worth the pain as long as we all pull together.
“It requires desire, drive and determination. As one door closes, another will open – as long as you kick it hard enough.”
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